The White House on Friday held a ceremony to celebrate the bipartisan and historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.
The Senate confirmed Jackson, the first Black woman nominated for the nation's highest court, in a 53-47 vote on Thursday. Three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah — joined all 50 Democrats in support of Jackson.
"We all witnessed a truly historic moment," said President Joe Biden, flanked by Jackson and Vice President Kamala Harris. "Today is a good day. A day that history is going to remember, and in the years to come, they're going to be proud of what we did."
"This is going to let the sunshine on so many young women," he continued. "This is a moment of real change."
Biden hailed Jackson, who sat for over 20 hours of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee and met individually with dozens of senators as part of her confirmation process, as a "brilliant legal mind."
"I knew the person I nominated will be put through a painful and difficult confirmation process. But I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson went through was way beyond that," Biden said, referring to the GOP attacks Jackson faced over the past several weeks. "In the face of it all, Judge Jackson showed the incredible character and integrity she possesses."
"You have enormous dignity," Biden said to Jackson. "It's contagious. It matters a lot."
Senate Democratic leaders, White House staff, supporters, Jackson's close friends and family — her parents, brother, husband, and two daughters — attended Friday's ceremony.
Harris, in her speech, invoked the Constitution, saying Jackson being the first Black woman in US history confirmed to the Supreme Court reaffirmed her belief that we "could form a more perfect union."
Harris also said that Jackson's ascension to the top court will inspire future generations.
"They will see for the first time, four women sitting on the court at the same time," Harris said. This fall, Jackson will join Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Amy Coney Barrett on the bench.
Jackson opened her remarks by thanking God, and expressed immense gratitude toward her family, her mentors, and all the people who have helped her reach this milestone, which she described as "the honor of a lifetime."
Jackson extended her appreciation to Biden and the Senate for giving her "the chance to join the court, to promote the rule of law at the highest level, and to do my part to carry our shared project of democracy and equal justice under law forward into the future."
The 51-year-old justice also commented on the historic nature of her confirmation.
"It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States," Jackson said. "But we've made it. We've made it. All of us."
"Our children are telling me that they see now more than ever that here in America, anything is possible," she continued.
Jackson went on to credit the countless Black leaders in American history, including civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first Black female federal judge, who she said paved the way for her to break this glass ceiling.
"They and so many others did the heavy lifting that made this day possible," Jackson said. "I think of them as the true path breakers. I am just the very lucky first inheritor of the dream of liberty and justice for all."
In one of the most powerful moments of her speech, Jackson grew emotional while citing the late poet Maya Angelou's words.
"I am the dream and the hope of the slave," said Jackson, drawing a standing ovation from the audience. "This is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride."
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